Discourse / Discours - Supporting Fathers' Efforts to Be Smoke-Free: Program Principles

John L. Oliffe, Joan L. Bottorff, Gayl Sarbit


There is limited empirical evidence on effective ways to develop, distribute, and evaluate men-centred, gender-sensitive health promotion programs. The purpose of this research was to transition qualitative findings on men's smoking into father-centred cessation interventions. Men's perspectives were gathered in 4 group sessions with 24 new fathers who smoked. The data led to the identification of 3 principles for men's health promotion programs: use positive messaging to promote change without amplifying stigma, guilt, shame, and blame; foster connections between masculine ideals (e.g., strength, decisiveness, resilience, autonomy) and being smoke-free; and privilege the testimonials of potential end-users (e.g., fathers who smoke and want to quit). Experiences drawn from the design and pilot-testing of a booklet and a group program based on these principles are described. The findings can be used to guide nurses in the design and/or delivery of men's health promotion programs.

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